:: lifelong learning ::

Minutes ago, I stepped into my doorstep so happy to be back home again!!  I just completed a 5 hour drive from Las Vegas where I attended one of the most reknown international conventions in the wedding and portrait photography world.  My brain is overloaded with tons of new knowledge, new names, new inspirations . . . wow!  I can’t wait to get back to work on some of these concepts from great photographers around the world.  If anything, the tradeshow alone allowed me to view and scour through new and upcoming trends and products that I can offer.  I feel so privileged to have access to these wonderful, professional learning outlets where I can continue to keep abreast of everything out there. 

I owe this opportunity to the distinct privelige I was given volunteering for a booth at the convention.  I donated a few hours to the Special Kids Photography Association (SKPA) educating photographers about their great organization.  Back in September, I had photographed my dear friends’ three children. One of their children was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a mild variant of Autistic Disorder.  I was warned in advance of the session that the parents never knew what to expect, so to be ready for anything. Luckily for me he was in a great mood that day, and he was very easy for me to photograph.  Ever since then, I’ve had my eye on learning how to photograph kids with special needs just in case I would run into that situation again. Every child deserves to have a wonderful portrait taken.  When I found out that SKPA was asking for volunteers, I didn’t hesitate for a minute.  What I found out about this amazing organization is that they teach photographers how to handle sessions for a variety of special needs.  After a full day workshop and working through the workbooks, each photographer completes a full examination and submits prints for approval to become accredited through them.  I plan on going through this accreditation process as soon as I can attend a workshop close to me.

The most amazing part of this story is that due to finances this year, I actually didn’t plan on going to the convention until I volunteered for this opportunity.  I had no idea how I would be able to fund my trip.  Soon after I volunteered, I found out that a fellow photographer had a free guest pass to attend the full convention and was looking for someone to go with!  I ended up driving to save a bit of money, and found a hotel just down the street that had a great special . . . it was as if it was meant to be! 

Next week I will also be helping to host a seminar given by one of the top master photographers in the world, which will be more focused on some of my specialties.  One of the things that professional photographers have is access to greater and continued knowledge centers of learning, trends, improved business techniques and products.  I just had to post about how very inspired I am after already attending a few of these just this year!